A £70,000 campaign has been launched to reassure the public that London's NHS will not break down over the millennium. Health authorities are to send out 4 million leaflets on health services over the holiday.

NHS Executive London regional director Nigel Crisp said last week there were 'no absolute guarantees' that computer equipment would not break down, but the NHS was 'at the highest level of preparedness'.

He also said£67m had been saved from capital allocations to fund improvements in London health services, including 47 additional high dependency beds, 35 new ambulances and a£150 flat-rate bonus for all staff on duty over midnight on new year's eve.

Two new high-dependency units have been opened at Lewisham and Whittington hospitals.

Mr Crisp said the other beds 'are in ones and twos added to individual intensive care units'.

Employers had feared that many overseas nurses would resign in order to spend the millennium at home, but London's NHS year 2000 director Philip Brown said: 'There are no indications of resignations on any large scale.'

Mr Crisp's£67m includes£15m of modernisation fund money.